Through the Waters is the blog of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Christian vocation ministries. Because the ministry of Christian vocation affirms the need for all baptized Christians – including Presbyterians - to identify and claim their call to discipleship in each decision and life choice, this blog is designed to serve as a resource for youth and young adults, as well as those in ministry with them, to assist the Holy Spirit in God’s movement in this journey through the waters. Take some time to read and think about your own responses to the questions posed here. For additional resources, we suggest that you visit our website.
I have two children. Recently they have both come home from school having talked about the ever-present “What I am going to be when I grow up?” topic. The oldest, who has just started middle school, took a test that evaluated her interests and gave suggestions about what occupations she might be best suited toward. When she reported what she had found out, the first question to her parents was, “Which do you think I’d be best at?” The second question, “Which makes more money?” Sigh. It wasn’t long after this that I came across a story that I was sure to share.
In July, a 78-year-old couple won the lottery in Canada. A cool $11.3 million was all theirs. Think of the things they could do with all of that money! One of them was undergoing chemotherapy so it isn’t like they didn’t have need of it. But, they didn’t. In fact, as of early November, they didn’t have any of it left. They had given it all away.
Rather than changing their lifestyle and living a life of pure luxury, they are living on the money they saved throughout their 35-year marriage while he worked as a welder and she was in retail sales. No new house. No luxury car. No extravagant trips. After making sure that family members had what they needed (notice the word was not “wanted” but “needed”), they made a long list of groups they had decided could benefit from the money; mostly organizations that help others including churches, hospitals and charitable organizations.
Allen, one member of the couple, was quoted as saying, “That money we won was nothing. We have each other.”
The mouth of the pre-teen gaped open upon hearing my version of the events. “Why did they even play the lottery if they didn’t want the money?” Good question. But think of all those who benefitted because they did.
God calls us to use our God-given gifts and abilities to honor and serve God. How are your decisions about occupation, lifestyle, or relationships a reflection of God’s call?
At the end of your life, what will people remember about you?
We may not all be called to give away all that we have but how are you living out the priorities and values of your faith?